First Parish in Concord (1901)


Concord’s first church congregation was gathered in 1636 in Cambridge, with its first meetinghouse being constructed in Concord soon after (opposite the current church) on Lexington Road. This was replaced by the second meetinghouse, built between 1667 and 1673, and the third, built in 1711. This third church was rotated in 1741 to face the road, but burned down in 1900. It was therefore replaced by the current church, completed in 1901, which reproduced its predecessor as much as possible. During the ministry of Ezra Ripley (1778-1841), the congregation moved away from the traditional Puritan Calvinist doctrines and became Unitarian. Henry David Thoreau signed-off from membership in the church in 1841; his funeral services were later held there. Ralph Waldo Emerson affirmed his membership in 1865. Today, the First Parish in Concord is a Unitarian Universalist church.

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